- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Essence Festival has added three artists to its summer lineup: award-winning rapper Common, Puff Daddy & The Family and new artist Andra Day.

Organizers said Wednesday that Puff Daddy & The Family, a mix of past and present Bad Boy Records artists, will perform Sunday, July 3, on the mainstage of the Superdome along with Kendrick Lamar, Ciara and Day. On the secondary stages in the Superlounges - cavernous “clubs” created inside the halls of the Superdome - MC Lyte, Dej Loaf, Cyril Neville, Leon Bridges, Kehlani, the New Breed Brass Band, Robert Glasper, BJ the Chicago Kid, the Brand New Heavies and Little Simz will perform.

Common will perform Saturday, July 2, as will first-timers Mariah Carey and Jeremih, Estelle and veteran festival entertainer Charlie Wilson. Estelle will also oversee a show in a superlounge with Wizkid and Lady Leshurr. Performers in the other Superlounges include Doug E. Fresh, Tink, Jidenna, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, St. Beauty, Lalah Hathaway and Judith Hill.

The Friday, July 1 opening night belongs to Maxwell, New Edition, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Tyrese, Faith Evans and Avery Wilson. The Superlounges will host Digable Planets, Daley, Eric Bellinger, Lion Babe, The Internet, Tweet, Mali Music, V. Bozeman, Kelly Price, Zakes Bantwini and Skye Wanda.

Nephew Tommy from “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” will return as the Mainstage host.

Single-day tickets went on sale Wednesday, starting at $50 per person, per night.

In addition to the nightly ticketed concerts, the weekend includes free daytime empowerment seminars at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Scheduled speakers include principal ballerina Misty Copeland, model and entrepreneur Tyra Banks, Tony-winning actress Patina Miller, best-selling author Terry McMillan, life coach Iyanla Vanzant, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Phaedra Parks, philanthropist and designer Cookie Johnson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Several contemporary gospel singers, including Yolanda Adams, Travis Greene, Tasha Paige Lockhart and Kierra Sheard will take part in a tribute to the Clark Sisters also at the convention center.


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